Judge orders foreclosure sale for site of ‘The Hole’

The official “order of sale” is the newest development in the ongoing legal fight over “The Hole,” the two-years-excavated-and-idle site at 39th/Alaska/Fauntleroy that once held Schuck’s and Hancock Fabrics, demolished for a mixed-use project that was to include a Whole Foods Market and a new Hancock store before it all fell apart in legal/financial wrangling.

(Aerial view of “The Hole,” looking westward, September 2010)
In case you missed it, the first trial regarding the site concluded last month with King County Superior Court Judge Susan Craighead ruling that construction companies Aero and Ledcor are first in line to get liens paid off with proceeds from a foreclosure sale of the site. Since the verdict, she has rejected a motion for a new trial, as we noted two weeks ago, and has since rejected a challenge to Aero’s motion asking her to order that sale. Result: As of this past Monday, she has ordered the sale to take place within 60 days. You can see the sale order here.

So now what? Orders like this are handled through the courts and the King County Sheriff’s Office, as explained here. We’re got inquiries out to find out if any further challenges are planned that could hold it up. The two construction-company liens alone, which are first in line for any sale proceeds, total almost $4 million (not counting interest dating back to December 2008). Earlier in the saga, the site’s would-be new owner, an entity related to Madison Development calling itself 3922 SW Alaska LLC (that’s the site’s address of record), had tried to get foreclosure ordered without the liens taking priority. As part of its challenge to the judge’s ruling, 3922 SW Alaska claimed it discovered post-trial that original developer BlueStar had been talking with Aero about resuming the project. BlueStar boss Steve Hartley had told WSB this past spring that he still hoped to find a way to finish it, even though by that time they no longer had any official involvement in the project.

P.S. If you don’t drive through this section of West Seattle often, it’s worth noting, though technically unrelated, that the future Trader Joe’s site (latest update here) is just east of “The Hole.” The newly installed city-permit-notification sign would be in the lower right of our “aerial” photo if we sought the same shot today.

16 Replies to "Judge orders foreclosure sale for site of 'The Hole'"

  • waman December 30, 2010 (12:51 pm)

    I say fill it up with water & let’s have ourself a new lake!

  • JBL December 30, 2010 (12:51 pm)

    So…is this good news or bad news? Will there be progress on this site?

    • WSB December 30, 2010 (12:55 pm)

      Won’t really know till we see what happens with the foreclosure-sale order.

  • b-squared December 30, 2010 (12:58 pm)

    Park and ride with retail on top.

  • Petert December 30, 2010 (1:47 pm)

    Park and ride would be a great use, but that’d require state funds, and there’s little enough of that to go around these days. Having said that, however, the hole might be a good place to hide the budget deficit.

  • Alan December 30, 2010 (2:39 pm)

    Read the decision to force the foreclosure sale; someone is buying a hole (except for the condemned parts)?!?
    what are the condemned parts? sounds like an opportunity to buy a pre-dug construction site for someone who was already planning a big project near here (unless the condemned parts are in the way. . . )

  • RJB December 30, 2010 (3:00 pm)

    Pave it and give the kids a skate park….

  • old timer December 30, 2010 (4:04 pm)

    What does the 60 days mean?
    Is that the latest it can be ‘listed’ or must the sale close by then?
    Goes the Judge have a minimum price?
    What if no one wants it?

  • Cascadianone December 30, 2010 (5:09 pm)

    How about a Light Rail Station headed to SoDo and then Beacon Hill Stations. Eventually extend it Southward with five stops that end at downtown White Center! :D

  • Alex December 30, 2010 (7:52 pm)

    I really like that lake idea.

  • NotMe December 30, 2010 (9:13 pm)

    You do realize this same thing happens with the “hole” on Stone Way. After all these years, it’s still a great big hole.

  • TopChef December 30, 2010 (9:18 pm)

    Meh. Who needed a Whole Foods anyway? Gussied-up, overpriced food porn. West Seattle is already well served by Thriftway, Safeway, and the very excellent Metropolitan Market. These folks each do a great job serving the low/mid/high end markets, and have been great supporters of the community. Give us TJ’s and will be set.

  • dolly December 30, 2010 (10:44 pm)

    The light rail station/park and ride along with increased transportation services would be brilliant! We need this now and will even more in the very near future. A shame that the current political and economic climate is not likely to support funding assistance for a concept that would actually produce revenue in the future.

  • dd December 31, 2010 (5:42 pm)

    WSB: Regarding Old Timers comment.

    What if no one wants it? I mean they have to come up with 4+ million. And pretty much all that buys you is a hole in the ground. You still need the 20,30 million to build something there. What does happen to foreclosed property that doesn’t sell?
    My guess is nothing. And if it does sell, good luck getting money to build anything there.

    • WSB December 31, 2010 (6:02 pm)

      Once everybody’s back from holiday, I plan the “what if nobody wants it? what then?” followup. For example – a bank wound up holding the Shoremont in Alki, then put it up for sale through a real-estate firm that took bids in a somewhat more leisurely manner, and has finally, as we reported recently, sold it. In the case of The Hole, 3922 SW Alaska wanted it for $2 million. The question to which I need to seek the answer is, could they still get it for that if nobody comes forward at the foreclosure sale?

  • dd December 31, 2010 (7:30 pm)


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